Anayoottu

Jul 01, 2015 | Vol. 7, Issue 4
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Anayoottu, the feeding of elephant is done ritualistically by the temple authorities, who offer healthy food, including Ayurvedic health supplements to the elephants.
Listed some 15 venues and dates where Anayoottu, the ritual feeding of elephants conducted annually

    

Elephants are an integral part of many festivals and ritual processions in Kerala. They actively participate in the festivals across Kerala during December to May. As per the direction of Ayurveda, like human beings, elephants are also given rejuvenation therapies during monsoon period (Malayalam month Karkkidakom-mid of July to mid of Aug) for a healthy living. Anayoottu, the feeding of elephant is done ritualistically by the temple authorities, who offer healthy food, including Ayurvedic health supplements to the elephants.   

According to Hindu mythology, elephants represents Lord Ganesha (Ganapathi or Vinayaka), the god with elephant's head. So the belief is that worshiping the elephants by feeding them with variety food like sugarcane, rice, ghee, coconut, jiggery etc.  is a way to propitiate Lord Ganesha, who removes obstacles in one's life. So many devotees also offer food to the elephants during Anayoottu ritual.

In some temples, along with Anayoottu, the authorities offer tantric ritual 'Ganapathi Homam' to elephants as an offering to Lord Ganesha.  There are many temples in Kerala, especially in Thrissur and Palakkad districts, who conducts Anayoottu in every year during the month Karkkidakom. Among the temples the most popular Anayoottu is at Vadakkumnatha temple in Thrissur, where 20 plus elephants are lined up for this ceremony. The following are some temples in Kerala, who conducts Anayoottu.

17 July 2015: Thrissur Vadakkumnatha Kshethram, Thrissur Dt.
This is the most famous place for Anayoottu, as more than 20 elephants used to participate in the ritual feeding and is conducted in the morning (8.30am) at Vadakkumnatha temple in Thrissur.

17 July 2015: Thirunakkara Puthiya Thrikkovil Mahavishnu Kshethram, Kottayam Dt.
About 10-15 elephants usually part take in this event which is held in the morning (9am). This temple is under Thirunakkara Sree Mahadeva Kshethram and situated  near Vadakke nada (South entrance) of Thirunakkara Sree Mahadeva Kshethram, Kottayam town.             

17 July 2015: Jhangattiri Bhagavathi Kshethram, Palakkad Dt.
The ritual feeding is performed in the morning (9am- one hour) and nearly ten elephants used to part take in the event, usually. The temple is 3km from Pattambi on Kuttanad road in Palallad dt; from the temple bus stop its about 1km.

26 July 2015: Thrissur Chirakkakode Elangalloor Mana, Thrissur Dt.
Anayoottu is conducted by the Chirakkakode Elangalloor Nambuthiri family at their home near Chirakkakode Subrahmania Temple. More than ten elephants used to part take in the event, which starts from 8.30am onwards to one hour. Its about 12 km from Thrissur and approximately 5km from Mannuthy Farm Gate stop on NH.

29 July 2015: Mulangunnathukavu Sree Dharmasastha kshethram, Thrissur Dt.
Between 5- 10 elephants are lined up here for anayoottu in the morning (8.30am). The temple is at Mulangunnathukavu, 10km from Thrissur, on Shorannur road.

02 Aug 2015: Uthrattikkavu, Palakkad Dt.
Nearly five elephants usually participate in the event which starts in the morning (8am-10am). On Palakkad- Cherpulassery road, from Thiruvazhiyodu Jn, the temple is about 3km on Sreekrishnapuram Hospital road. Palakkad – Thiruvazhiyodu is 35km and Cherpulassery to Thiruvazhiyodu is about 10km.               

02 Aug 2015: Alamkode Aryamkavu, Malappuram Dt.
Only one or two elephants used to participate in this ritual (9am). The temple is at Alamkode, near changaramkulam in Malappuram dt.

02 Aug 2015: Changaramkulam Mukkuthala Kannekkavu Bhagavathi kshethram, Malappuram Dt.
Only one elephant usually part take in this ritual feeding. The temple is about 2km from Changaramkulam on Naranipuzha road, in Malappuram Dt. Changaramkulam is on the main road between Kuttippuram and Thrissur. 

09 Aug 2015: Thrissur Punkunnam Sankaramkulamgara  Bhagavathy kshethram, Thrissur Dt.
Between 10- 20 elephants usually part take in this event, which starts by around 9am (to one hour).The temple is at Punkunnam, Thrissur town.

09 Aug-Cherpulassey Puthanalkkal, Palakkad Dt.
Anayoottu is perfomed in the morning (8am) with about 10 elephants. The temple is at Cherpulassery  in Palakkad Dt. 

09 Aug 2015;Thripputta siva kshethram, Palakkad Dt.
Three elephants used to part take in the event. Thripputta Siva temple is about 1.5 km from Kulappully on kanayam road, near Shorannur in Palakkad district.  About 4km from Shoranur Rly station.

15 Aug 2015: Palappuram Chinakkathur Kavu, Palakkad Dt.
About 5-10 elephants usually participate in the event which starts in the morning (10am-11am). At Palappuram, 5kms from Ottappalam in Palakkad Dt.

15 Aug 2015: Mukkam Manassery Kunnathu Thrikkovil Vishnu kshethram, Kozhikode Dt.
The ritual feeding of elephants is held in the morning- 2-3 elephants. The temple is at Manassery in Kozhikode Dt. Manassery is about 25km from Kozhikode town and near to Mukkom.

16 Aug 2015: Pariyanampatta Bhagavathi Kshethram, Palakkad Dt.
Nearly ten elephants usually participate in the event which starts in the morning (10am-11am). Temple is at Magalamkunnu in Palakkad dt., which is about 20 km from Ottappalam on Mannarkkad route, (25km to Mannarkkad) . From Palakkad, its on Cherppulassery route (35km)

16 Aug 2015: Kunnankulam Kakkad Mahaganapathy kshethram, Thrissur Dt. Anayoottu is performed in the morning 8.30am-10am and over 10 elephants is expected to participate. The ritual 'Prathyaksha Ganapathi Homam', a ritual offering to the elephant, who symbolise Lord Ganesha (Ganapathi), is also performed in the early morning.

18 Aug 2015: Malliyur Sri Mahaganapathy Kshethram, Kottayam Dt.
The temple is at Malliyur, in between Kaduthuruthi (5km) and Etumanoor (10km), just 1.5km from Kuruppanthara Kavala, in Kottayam district. Here anayoottu is conducted (11am) as part of the Vinayaka Chathrthi (Birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha) festival. Usually 12 elephants used top art take in this event.

18 Aug 2015: Kottarakkara Mahaganapathy Kshethram, Kollam Dt.
Three elephants usually part take in the event Anayoottu (9am). Evening (7.30pm) there is a ritual procession with one caparisoned elephant, Melam etc, inside the temple complex. Kottarakkara Ganapathy temple (Kizhakkekkara Siva temple) is just 1km from Kottarakkara Rly station/bus station. Kollam is 28km and Thiruvananthapuram is 70km.  

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